Summary of October 23, 2018 Board of Education Meeting

Summary of October 23, 2018 Board of Education Meeting

At the October 23, 2018 Board of Education meeting:

  • Teachers Union Co-President, Cathy Clayton, reported that there were no new issues to report. They continue to work with district administration to solve current issues.

  • Support Staff Union Co-President, Susan Koziarski, reported that the Support Staff would like to have a container in each faculty lounge to collect food to donate to local food banks.

  • The Board of Education recognized our 6th and 7th grade boys volleyball team along with Coach Carol Dicksen. They were Conference Champions which is the highest recognition for their age group. Congratulations to the Boys Volleyball Teams!! The 6th and 7th Grade team finished their season with an undefeated record of 13-0.

  • Congratulations to Coach Fencl, Coach Lopresti, Coach Bard and the following students for making it to the State Cross Country Finals on Saturday: Jake Moerman, Monica Skibicki, Meghan Mack, Abigail Mack, Hannah Miller, Kaylin Klutcharch, Ellie Berg, Alexa Trower, Alyssa Flood, Ava Kazak Kayla Shea. As a team, the girls finished 11th in the State and Jake finished as a State finalist for the boys.

  • One parent did speak to the Board of Education. He expressed concern about one of the schools' pledges.

  • Ed McCormick from the firm of Mueller CPA reviewed the district's annual audit with the Board of Education. Some of the items Mr. McCormick highlighted were that the auditors issued an unmodified audit opinion, the highest rating possible; the District saw an increase in total net position of $8,007,071 during fiscal year 2018 which was primarily due to higher than expected property tax receipts, receipt of late payments from the State of Illinois, gain realized from the sale of our bus fleet, and significant reductions in expenditures; and the district received a 4 out of 4, the highest score possible, for the District's Financial Profile - a benchmark used by the state to rate the financial strength of school districts. The Board reviewed the audit, and later in the meeting approved the audit by resolution.

The Board approved the following personnel recommendations:


  1. Clarissa Morris - Bus Driver at Transportation - effective 10/10/18

Leave of Absence

  1. Kaleen DeFilippis-Holba - 5th Grade Teacher at Hadley Middle School - date correction - from 2/28/19 to 5/8/19, returning on 5/9/19
  2. Jennifer Donahue - Special Education Resource Teacher at Hadley Middle School - from 8/20/18 to 2/28/19
  3. Eyad Malley - Transitional Bilingual Education at Schilling School - from 9/27/18 to 12/14/18, returning on 12/17/18

Employment Recommendations

  1. Kelly Andricopulos - Lunchroom Monitor at Young School
  2. Catherine Koniewicz - Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction at Administration - effective 11/5/18
  3. Elizabeth Kazmierczak - Custodian at Hadley Middle School - effective 10/24/18

Extra-Curricular Staff Recommendation

  1. Jaime Callan - Club Goodings Grove sponsor at Goodings Grove School - effective 2018-2019 school year
  2. Sarah Sheehan - 5th and 6th Grade Scholastic Bowl Coach - effective 2018-2019 school year

First Responder Liaison Recommendation

  • Mr. Troy Mitchell was approved as the Homer Administrator Liaison to first responder agencies

Information Reports

  • Robert Rounsaville, Director of Support Personnel Services and Transportation, communicated that his team was working hard to fill their one opening in the department. He also mentioned that this week was Bus Driver Appreciation Week and to thank bus drivers.
  • Mike Szopinski, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction, reported that we narrowed our 2019-2020 K-5th grade math textbook choices down to three vendors. He mentioned soon, we will start the process of identifying a new textbook/resource for 6th-8th grade math.
  • Renee Karalus, Director of Special Services, reported she continues to meet special education staff in the different buildings. Also, Mr. Mekhiel, Assistant Director of Special Services, will have coffee talks at the schools to foster dialogue and build relationships among the staff members.
  • Glen Wysong, Director of Buildings and Grounds, reported Building and Grounds continue to install LED lights as a cost-savings to the district. They continue with preventative maintenance in the district such as tree trimming. Beary Landscape Company donated ten trees to the district.
  • Arlene Siefert, Director of Technology, reported her department was working hard to ensure a successful 1st quarter report card using our new school information database system Powerschool.
  • Assistant Superintendent for Business, Al Kirkus, acknowledged the receipt of $40K from the Village of Homer Glen toward the Goodings Grove playground project.
  • Assistant Superintendent for Business, Al Kirkus, provided an update on expansion options. The architect will need to inspect all school buildings' infrastructure to determine which schools can be expanded. Mr. Kirkus stated plans for summer construction work at Hadley are moving forward. Mr. Kirkus also updated the board that the district will need a new dump truck soon. The district has budgeted for this purchase.
  • Mike Portwood, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, reported the district has two unfilled positions of school psychologist and O.T. He mentioned we have begun planning for kindergarten round up registration which will be held at Hadley Middle School. He reported that our new registration process has led to thirteen students disenrolled from our district. Mr. Portwood is working on improving the process of collecting unpaid registration fees in our district.
  • Dr. Melissa Onesto, Principal, at Butler School reported to the Board of Education that she was very proud of the progress that Butler School has made in the social emotional behavior of students in Tier 1. She shared that red tickets that are given to students to "stop and think about behavior" have dropped dramatically. She mentioned Butler staff continue to implement strategies to build student ownership of positive social interactions among the school. For example, they have 4th grade students that are hallway monitors for school dismissal. They encourage their fellow classmates to exhibit exemplary behavior such as "walking feet" and "whisper voices." Dr. Onesto and her staff have also added a "buddy bench" by the recess area. A student will sit at the buddy bench if they are looking for a fellow student to play with. The buddy bench has fostered student relationships.

Superintendent's Report

Craig Schoppe, Superintendent announced that Homer 33C, in partnership with the Will County Sheriff's Office, has been awarded a $500,000 grant to increase safety and security at all the District's buildings. The 2018 COPS STOP School Violence Prevention Program is funded by the US Department of Justice. A District-wide security assessment, allowed us to identify the following items as being crucial to the safety and security of the Homer 33C schools and will now be added or upgraded; secure vestibules, physical access control systems, intercoms and public announcement systems, security signage, revised office designs and security camera system.

A special thank you to Mike Kelley, Sheriff of Will County for partnering with the District. Also, he thanked the following people for working diligently on securing the grant; Will County Sheriff's Lieutenant Nat Freeman, Chief Brian Conser, Deputy Chief Dan Jungles, Lieutenant Jim Holuj, Lois Mayer, Lockport Chief Terry Lemming, James Petrakos of Tria Architecture, Karen Norville, Homer 33C Program and Grant Coordinator and Glen Wysong, Director of Buildings and Grounds were instrumental in securing the grant.

Mr. Schoppe, Superintendent, provided an update on security measures stating that two cameras have been hooked up to our server in the Hadley Middle School hallway, near the gym. Due to this area of the building being consistently used after school and on weekends by outside groups, we decided to expedite the installation of these cameras.

Walk-throughs at all the building have been completed and a meeting will be held soon to determine the locations for installation of each camera. Mr. Schoppe thanked Wally Brown and Rusty Novotny for all their hard work on this project.

Business Office Reports

Assistant Superintendent for Business Aleksas Kirkus presented the tentative levy to the Board ( The tentative levy must be presented at least 20 days prior to adoption of the actual levy which is expected to happen at the November 27th Board of Education meeting.

In 2017 the district billed taxes in the amount of $43,208,648. Based on current estimates of district wide property value changes, and the value of new construction, the district expects to bill taxes in the amount of: $44,639,477, an increase of $1,430,829 over last year. While these are the estimates of what we believe will actually happen, the district will levy a larger amount $45,368,970 in order to ensure that the district is able to capture the full value of new property across the district. If the levy is lower than what is allowable, the district would lose the difference in revenue on a compounding basis for all future years. However, if the levy amount is higher than allowable, the clerk will simply reduce the levy request to match what is allowable by law. Since the levy is based on estimated values, it is in the district's best interests to overshoot, or balloon the levy, and have the clerk reduce the amount to match what we are allowed to receive once final values are known.

The Board Approved the following:

  1. The tentative levy by resolution
  2. The recommendation that the district conduct a health insurance dependent eligibility audit
  3. A resolution to Effect Interfund Transfer from the Operations and Maintenance Fund to the Debt Service Fund
  4. The notice of retirement for Terri Pellizzari, 2nd grade teacher at Schilling School, subject to compliance with the applicable requirements of TRS and the District's collective bargaining agreement, effective at the end of the 2022-2023 school year
  5. Accept the retirement of the following individuals subject to compliance with the terms and conditions of the District's one-time IMRF retirement incentive program:

a. Donna Lewis - Paraprofessional, effective 6/30/2020

b. Therese Barton - Paraprofessional, effective 6/30/2020

c. Terrence Poia - Bus Driver, effective 6/30/2020

d. Patricia Matthiesen - Bus Driver, effective 6/30/2020

  1. Add Aleksas Kirkus, Assistant Superintendent for Business, as a signer for the safety deposit box at First Midwest Bank, Orland Park, IL, effective July 1, 2018
  2. Remove Christi Tyler, Assistant Superintendent for Business, as a signer for the safety deposit box at First Midwest Bank, Orland Park, IL, effective June 30, 2018.

New Job Position

  • The Board of Education approved the position recommendation of one certified 1.0 Speech and Language Pathologist/Assistive Technology

Next Board of Education Meeting is Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.